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Sashko, 13 years old, Horlivka (Donetsk region) 2014, Kyiv 2022



This is not the first time I have left my home. I don't remember very well, but my mother told me how our house had already been taken away. In 2014, we were forced to move from Horlivka to Kyiv for my safety. It is difficult for parents to talk about these events because then we had to leave part of the family.


Now we are running away from home again and our family is falling apart again. Our father remained in the defence. Everything was being taken away from me for the second time. My childhood was being taken away for the second time.


My mother is a bad driver and a very emotional person. But I became proud of her when she quickly took me, our cat Simba, mouse Jerry, put us in the car and took us out of that horror without further ado.


I sat behind and calmed the animals. Sometimes I looked in the front mirror and saw her red eyes. And when she turned on my dad's favourite song, I saw tears.


Now we live with my mother's friends. She says it's short-lived. We are safe, it seems.

I learned to make friends quickly. In the yard, children play "in the Ukrainian military", but they do not understand that not far from them is not a game, but a real war. There is my family in this war, which I can lose every day.


I noticed that my mother had not received flowers for a long time. Dad always did that. It seems that we have been visiting for too long.


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